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When the ‘Little Things’ Add Up as a Person With a Mental Illness


This is my life. I am happy to report I can’t really think of any “big things” that have ever happened to me. I’ve been blessed and lucky this way and I am oh so grateful. And… here it comes… I still struggle – a lot!

It’s frustrating. It’s my reality.

Whenever I crash or am triggered or meltdown (they look pretty similar), it’s always from a combination of “little things” adding up. That happens on quite a regular basis – as my friends and family can attest. And sometimes it feels ridiculous to share with others what has me crying uncontrollably or ruminating in my head. I feel like I can connect the dots, but usually can’t explain how I process them to others. I think being an extra sensitive person and a person with mental illness sometimes makes things that might be small or insignificant to others gargantuan in my mind. Not because I want it that way. I would love not to obsess over every “little thing.” I don’t think anyone wants to replay every situation over in their minds dissecting each and every way you might have screwed up.

I hope one day the “little things” in my world will stay little rather than exploding into and adding up to make major issues that derail my recovery. I am often envious of my friends, colleagues and family who seem to easily let things come and go and not get stuck at every small road-stop. One day, with enough medication and therapy and lots and lots of extremely hard work, maybe I’ll be able to do the same. I’d say it’s a possibility rather than a probability, and I’m still trying to have a little hope. Until then, I am working at cutting myself some slack when I get dis-regulated, and also trying not to care what other people think of how I am handling myself and my emotions. Those thoughts keep on coming and I am determined (most of the time) to shut them out.

I hope today to encounter “no things” except “wonderful things,” but intend to try to remember that ‘”little things” truly are just “little things.” Yeah, right!

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